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Residents to Pay More for Village Gas, Goods Under Deficit Plan

Depending on whether a home owner's property value has gone up, down or stayed the same, there may also be a small property tax hike.

Although the official vote won't take place until Dec. 19, the gave its unofficial blessing Monday to a 2-cent gas tax hike and a half-cent sales tax increase to help resolve a $1.8 million budget deficit.

The gas tax would double to 4 cents per gallon under the proposal made by Village Administrator Brian Murphy, generating $360,000 in new annual income. The village's portion of the sales tax would increase from 1 percent to 1.5 percent on every dollar spent, and will push the total sales tax amount from 7.75 percent to 8.25 percent, he said.

If approved, Plainfield would be about on par with what's charged in Bolingbrook and Romeoville. Bolingbrook has a 5 cent gas tax and Romeoville's is 4 cents; both have a 1.5 percent sales tax.

In recommending these tax increases, Murphy rejected that had been on the table, including an increase in the utility tax and the establishment of new liquor and food/beverage taxes.

Under Murphy's plan, some home and business owners will also see a small increase in their property taxes, depending whether their property’s equalized assessed valuation has gone up, down or stayed the same.

Every year, government bodies must approve a tax levy, which is essentially the amount of money it asks the Will County treasurer to collect on its behalf through property taxes. The levy amount must be approved before the end of the year.

Murphy has proposed keeping the levy dollar amount – $5.36 million – the same as last year. As a result, the tax rate will increase from about 40 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation to about 43 cents. Were the increase not made and the tax rate kept at 40 cents, the village would collect $250,000 less than last year – a loss that contributed to the $1.8 million deficit.

If a property owner’s equalized assessed valuation has decreased, it’s possible the property tax he or she pays to the village will stay about the same or drop slightly. If their property’s value has not changed or has gone up, there will be a small increase, Murphy said.

Murphy said the owner of a $300,000 home whose property value has stayed the same would likely pay about $23 more a year.

In the big picture, the amount that business and home owners pay in village property tax is only about 5.38 percent of their overall property tax bill.

claims the biggest amount, about 64.28 percent. The Plainfield Fire Protection gets 11.44 percent, Will County gets 9.04 percent, Joliet Junior College gets 3 percent, Plainfield Park District gets 2.59 percent and Plainfield Public Library District gets 2.08 percent. The remaining 2.19 percent goes to Plainfield Township and/or other taxing bodies, depending on the districts in which the property’s located.

Trustee Jim Racich said that the village has done a good job at keeping a lid on costs, especially given that the tax collected funds everything from police protection to street repairs to community development.

“What you get for the little money you pay, it’s a bargain,” Racich said. “We have to pay for what we’re getting, and it’s not that big of an increase.”

The changes are to needed to balance the 2012-13 budget, which kicks in on July 1, 2012. No start date for the proposed gas and sales tax increases was discussed.

Mark November 29, 2011 at 12:21 PM
What's Brian's plan for the locations that will close in a short time, as many will buy their fuel elsewhere? What school did this guy go to? History has shown you can't fight a bad economy with more taxes, maybe lease out some of the Thirty Million $$ Taj Mahal Hall.
John Van Horn November 29, 2011 at 03:04 PM
We deal with reduced value of our homes but increase the tax on inflated assessments compared to our real property values. Guess I buy my gas in Shorewood.
Lisa S. November 29, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Time for a new Village Board as this one seems to have no clue as to what this is going to bring. Here's an idea: cut your spending. Enough with 'downtown' and fancy Village buildings. We pay more than enough already for what we get. The rest of my family lives in another state and they pay less sales tax and half of what I pay in property tax for the same value home. What do they have that we don't? ACCOUNTABILITY!
Olddeegee November 29, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Proper payment for services rendered. Plainfield should have kept the Village stickers and while raising the gas tax. Whiners who don't want to pay a fair amount should move to Indiana if they want shoddy services at low prices. We're still lower that other nearby areas, and after cutting services to the bone over the last few years, there is nothing left to do. We have a good town and a good village board, even if I don't agree with them politically all of the time. This is necessary.
Ram Seichert November 29, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Village services are not down to the bone or even close. Here's the question - what has been cut from expenses? I don't feel the Village is just scraping by. There's an error in the article also - current Plainfield sales tax is 8% with a 1/2 percent increase bumps it to 8.5%. It's great the Village is in line with Romeoville and the corrupt Bolingbrook when you also forgot the north neighbor Naperville sales tax is still only at 7.25%. Lets not forget Trustee Racich was also the one who wants a pay raise to attend Village Board meetings.
Olddeegee November 29, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Please move away then. If you feel that you don't want to pay the taxes, move. Take a walk through the village hall and count the number of employees. People are doing the jobs of three people and they're making part time money to do it. There have been bad decisions made as far as spending, but for the most part we have dedicated people trying to do their jobs with less and less. What would you cut? Where would you go to raise funds?
Ram Seichert November 29, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Has non-union employees wages been frozen and for how long? Is the vehicle fleet been extended to get more out of the vehicle? I'd consider increasing fines on DUI offenders and prosecuting cases locally under city ordinance in addition to cutting expenses.
YouHaveToBeKidding November 29, 2011 at 08:29 PM
What is the simplest answer to government shortages? "TAX, TAX, TAX" should be a four letter word for use citizens. But hey let's spend millions of dollars on a pedestrian bridge to nowhere. I am sure if you want to look close enough there are indulgences that are overlooked. But to pay over an 8% sales tax, for Plainfield, really?? Might as well close down Lockport St since nobody will ever shop there and pay a higher tax than a neighboring community. What has happened to all of the $$$ for the "No Seat Belt' or "Dont you dare stop near the tracks" tickets??? Oh yeah that went to buy bullets for the police to use at their state of the art practice range because lord knows we have armed conflicts on a daily basis here.
Eyes on Plainfield November 29, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Again, our Village Leaders are to make another "hard choice" and raise taxes. Let's recap some past Village of Plainfield actions: Village Administrator asks, and gets, a raise for his boss's next term -- village scraps the vehicle sticker -- village continues to prop up the "historic" downtown area (where there isn't sufficient parking)...just a few. Seems like the current crop of "in name only" conservatives have dropped the ball and want the local property tax payer to recover the ball. Just remember folks: the levy period begins next month for ALL your local taxing bodies who hope for another lack luster meeting turn out so they can continue to take care of all their pet projects at the expense of the local taxpayer!
Grouchy Grammaw November 30, 2011 at 02:27 AM
It would be good if all the above nay-sayers would at least go to the "Coffee with the Mayor" meetings. There they could directly ask questions of several village officials and get direct answers and explanations. Believe me, you learn a LOT about village problems and solutions, as well as who pays for what (pedestrian bridge, etc), For instance, the Fire Protection District is a separate taxing body from the Village and apparently has plenty of money to build its "fancy buildings"--don't blame the Village Board for that.
Firemanfred1921 November 30, 2011 at 03:45 AM
Oh Grouchy Grammaw I understand the Fire Protection District is a separate taxing body. The 12% of our property tax bill is for stone interior walls for the Fire Chief. Thankfully the Chief has a nice flat screen television in his office. There's a 17 million dollar building which houses on average 8-10 employees per day. Walk in refrigerators and walk in freezers, an industrial kitchen. What does it take for some people to wake up and start demanding answers from the Fire District.

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